Security measures appeared to have been strengthened at the rail station in Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok on Monday amid speculation that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could visit Russia this week for talks with President Vladimir Putin.
As of 5:40 p.m., a large number of police personnel were spotted inside Vladivostok station, unlike the previous day. A South Korean government official told Yonhap News Agency earlier in the day that a special train presumed to be carrying Kim appeared to be traveling to Vladivostok.
Soldiers with service dogs, men in black suits, as well as a black car surrounded by police officials entering the platform were also seen at the station, although it was unclear whether the vehicle was related to Kim's possible visit.
The New York Times reported last week that Kim plans to travel to Vladivostok, possibly by armored train this month, for talks with Putin to discuss the North's potential supply of its artillery shells and other weaponry for Moscow's war in Ukraine.
Earlier in the day, Russia's Interfax news agency reported that Kim is likely to visit Russia's Far East "in the coming days," citing multiple regional sources.
South Korea's defense ministry also said it sees the "possibility" of Kim's trip to Russia.
The assessment came amid media reports that Kim and Putin could hold a summit on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, which kicked off Sunday for a four-day run.
Source: Yonhap News Agency